Media:Tracing the Origins of Hindu Dharma

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Krishna Maheshwari
Founder, Hindupedia.com
Know your past
 The past and present are the keys to the future
 The past is the core of your roots and who you are
 The past in our case, resolves present day confusion
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Veda through the ages
 The knowledge contained in the Veda are eternal
 They were heard by the Rishi’s multiple times over
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multiple ages
Passed through an oral tradition
Eventually written down
Had significant portions destroyed
Had insertions with intention to distort
Received by us today
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Raise your hand if
 You have heard of Aryans & Dravidians
 You know what the theory states
 Believe in the theory
 Have not read about how the theory has evolved over
the past 20 years
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Today’s Aim
• The Veda present the earliest traceable evidence of our civilization
• There is an unbroken tradition linking Vedic times with today
Key Axioms
• Trace our heritage to a definitive “founding” date
Objective
• Multi-faceted approach leveraging
Methodology
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Comparative analysis of religions & civilizations
Sciences: Acheology, Archeo-astronomy
Technology
Scripture and scriptural development
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Comparing Religions
If 100 years = 1 religion year than
 Sikhism: 5
 Islam: 14
 Christianity: 20
 Buddhism, Taoism, Jainism
and Confucianism: 25
 Zoroastrianism: 26
 Shintoism: late 20s
 Judaism: 37
 Hinduism: is 80+
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Comparing Civilizations
7500
Gulf of Kambhat
6500
5500
Sumerian
4500
Sumeria
(5300-1940)
3500
2500
Pre-Dynastic,
Early Dynasty,
Old Kingdom
(5500-2150)
500
0 BC
Aegean
Egyptian
Aegean
(3650-1100)
Dark Ages
Middle Kingdom
Dark Ages
1500
1000
Harappa
(7000-1300)
Harappan
New Kingdom
Dark Ages
Classical
Ancient
Greek
Dark Ages
Late Period
Ptolemaic Dynasty
Roman Period
European
Mahajanpada,
Magadh,
Nanda,
Maurya Empires
Indian
Harappa had limited exchange with Europeans
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References to Saraswati Today
Daily Prayer
Kumba Mela
• Ganga Cha Yamuna Chaiva Godavari Saraswati,
Narmada Sindhu Kaveri Jalesmin Sannidhim Kuru
• Triveni Sangam
– Ganga
– Yamuna
– Saraswati
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Saraswati in Shastra
• Mentioned 60+ times
• A “mighty river flowing from the mountains to
the sea”
Rig Veda
Mahabharata
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Seasonal river
Disappeared in the desert
Reappears in some places
Joins the sea "impetuously"
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The Saraswati River was Real
 More than 7 km wide at its
widest point at its peak
 Stopped going to the sea
from the Himalayas
between 6000-4000 BC
 Completely dry by 1900 BC
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Harappan Civilization
• Largely aligned to the
Saraswati River
• Approximately 2,600 sites
covering over 500,000 sq
miles (identified so far)
– Modern India covers 1.2M sq
miles
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Early Mehrgarh
• Early Harrapan city
• Continuous usage for
4,500 years
• People lived in mudbased 4-room houses
• Occupations
– Farming
– Animal husbandry
– Dentistry
Molars with cavities removed
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Harappan Civilization
• Planned Cities
– North-South streets
– Typically west of a river
– Followed Stapatya Veda
• Houses according to Vastu
– Doors faced East
– Bathrooms and a kitchen
– Under-street sewers
• Water conservation using
check-dams
• Yoga
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Gulf of Khambhat findings
 Estimates place city
around 11,000 BC
 5 miles x 2 miles
 Human presence as far
back as 29,000 BC
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Key Terms & Definitions
Point in the year when day and night time are equal (12 hrs each)
Equinox
Tropical Year
Precession
Proper
Motion
Time for the sun to return to the same position in the cycle of
seasons i.e., the time between equinoxes
Wobble of a earth as it spins about its axis
Movement of a star across the night sky relative to other stars in
its vicinity
Perihelion
Point of closest approach between the Earth and the Sun
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Assumptions
• Naked eye observations
accurate to 1/6°
• Continuous observation
over multiple lifetimes
• Multi-generational
record keeping
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Tropical Year
 Tropical year: Interval
between two equinoxes
 “Solar Year”
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Suryasiddhanta: 365.2435374 days
Modern Science: 365.2421897 days (in 2000)
Difference: 1 min, 54.44128 seconds
Observe time required: 10,000 years
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Measuring Earth’s Precession
3,600 years of observation
Surya Siddhanta:0.014°
Year 1900: 0.013958°
1000 years to observe
Sirius move 1/6°
Requires over 10,000 years of unaided
observation to for this level of precision
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Dating the Surya Siddhanta
Common Dating
Accuracy of Data
Assumptions • Authorship in 300 AD
• 100% accurate data
• Aided observations
Implications • 10,000 BC as start of
• 19,592 BC as dating of
events mentioned in text
based on linguistics
• Naked eye observations
observation period
• Records passed down from
astronomer to astronomer
over 10,000 years
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Astronomy Basics : Nakshatra
• 25,675 year cycle of 27
nakshatras
• Each nakshatra lasts 955
Years
Dependent on the location of the earth relative to the Sun & stars
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Yajur Veda
Rig Veda
Astronomy in the Veda
Observance
• Winter equinox in Ashwini
• Revati at the winter solstice
• Vernal Equinox in Punarvasu
Last Occurrence
7,000 BC
6,000 BC
5,000-6,000BC
• Vernal equinox in Mrigashira
5,000 BC
• Purvabhadrapada nakshatra as
rising due east
10,000 BC
• Krittika at the winter solstice
8,500 BC
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Astronomical Dating Problems
Dating Vernal equinox in Mrigashira
9542 years
7532 BC
Shatabhisha
Purva Bhādrapadā
Uttara Bhādrapadā
Revati
Ashvini
Bharini
Krittika
Rohini
Mrigashīrsha
Vernal Equinox
Now
Inner Limit:
(N x 25,675)+7,634
Outer Limit: (N x 25,675)+9,542
where N >= 0
7634 years
5624 BC
Vernal Equinox in
the Rig Veda
• All astronomical signs repeat
• Need a non-astronomical
point of reference to limit “N”
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Ramayana
 Dating much more
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uncertain
Contains lots of
astronomical details
Self dates to Treta Yuga
Valmiki referred to in the
Yajurveda
Does not discuss the
Saraswati River
Rama
Hanuman
Jamvant
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Ramayana?
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Mahabharata
• Possible co-incidence with
archeological evidence
• 140 astronomical references
• Discovery of submerged Dwarka off
the coast of Dwarka
– Containing a seal mentioned in the
Mahabharata
– Apparently on land reclaimed from
the sea
• Refers to Saraswati as a seasonal river
Dating no later than 1900 BC
Typically dated to approx. 5500 BC
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A Sampling from Shastra
What is a Ratha?
Common depiction of Arjuna’s Ratha from Mahabharata
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What is a Ratha?
Ferrari or Vidyut Ratha?
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Kaara Ratha
Rigvedic Vehicles
Jalayan
An amphibian aircraft
Kaara
An amphibious vehicle
Tritala
a three storied vehicle
Trichakra
a three-wheeled flying vehicle
Vaayu
a gas or wind-powered vehicle
Vidyut
a powered vehicle
Trichakra Ratha
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Rigveda
• Earth being round and in solar orbit
“The Sun does never set nor rise. When people
think the Sun is setting it is not so.
For after having arrived at the end of the day it
makes itself produce two opposite effects,
making night to what is below and day to what is
on the other side…
Having reached the end of the night, it makes
itself produce two opposite effects, making day
to what is below and night to what is on the
other side. In fact, the Sun never sets….”
--Aitareya brahmana 3.44
• Error Correcting Codes & Encryption
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Sample of Science in the Puranas
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Multiple types of Viman-s, their construction, etc
Concept of stars with each being like the Sun
Speed of light at 186,000 miles / hour
Age of the earth at more than 4 billion years
Relativity of Time
Impact of the moon’s phases on tides
Instructions on how to make an electrical battery
How to split water into Hydrogen & Oxygen
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Mahabharata War: Agneya Astra
• A blazing shaft possessed of the effulgence of a smokeless fire, and let it off on all
sides,…Endued with fiery flames…Meteors flashed down…A thick gloom suddenly
shrouded the (Pandava) host.
• All the points of the compass also were enveloped by that darkness...Inauspicious winds
began to blow. The sun himself no longer gave any heat…
• The universe, scorched with heat, seemed to be in a fever…The very waters heated, the
creatures residing in that element…seemed to burn.
• From all the points of the compass, … from the firmament and the very earth, showers of
sharp and fierce arrows fell and issued with the impetuosity of the wind…the hostile
warriors fell down like trees burnt down by a raging fire.
• Huge elephants, burnt by that weapon, fell down on the earth all around, uttering fierce
cries loud as the rumblings of the clouds…
• The steeds, O king, and the cars also, burnt by the energy of that weapon, looked, O sire,
like the tops of trees burnt in a forest-fire. Thousands of cars fell down on all sides.
Indeed, O Bharata, it seemed that the divine Lord Agni burnt the (Pandava) host in that
battle, like the Samvarta fire consuming everything at the end of the Yuga…
• Burnt by the energy of Aswatthaman's weapon, the forms of the slain could not be
distinguished…a full Akshauhini [218,700] of the Pandava troops killed
Source: Translation of Mahabharata into English published 1883 to 1896 by Kisari Mohan Ganguli (1842-1895) [Mahabharata, Drona Parva, CCI]
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Death Toll
• Agneya Astra
– 218,700
• Hiroshima
– 60,000-80,000
• Nagasaki
– 90,000-166,000
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Textual Development
• Shastra as Siddhanta
– Siddha: the goal, the achievement - siddha
– Anta: is reached, or its end
– Final attainments or conclusions
• Are the culmination of a long process of discussion, criticism and
review
– Grammar (85 grammarians known before Panini)
– Vedanta (many generations of teachers)
• Veda are direct in their statements
– Yet, speak in many tongues
– Requires solidified thought
– Communicated in a mature language
• Whatever the origin date, need to add period for development of
technology & thought
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Scriptural References
• The Surya Siddhanta
– Dates itself as having been given by Lord Surya at the end of
krita yuga
– Also states that it was given to sages in previous yugas too
• Many scriptures give similar dates
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Limitations
• Increasing compression of information over time
• Perspective
– Idea centric vs event centric
– Event centric vs person centric
• Not historical texts for the most part
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Conclusion
Archeological View • 7,500 BC based on earliest finds
Astronomical View
• 10,000 BC or change in assumptions
Technological View • At least 2,000 years prior to Rig Veda
• Doesn’t explain loss of technology of Mahabharata
Scriptural View
• Much older…multiple presentations over multiple yugas
• Creates cognitive dissonance
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